World Champions, the New York Yankees begin their quest for back-to-back titles as they take their show on the road to play the Twins in Minnesota in the opening round of the 2010 MLB Playoffs.
The Yankees faced the Twins last year in the ALDS, but that was then. This is now.
This year, the Yankees are the Wild Card, and the Twins have the home field advantage—a brand new field, at that.
Target Field will see its first playoff game ever on Wednesday night and is the first outdoor playoff game by the Twins since 1970.
CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18 ERA) takes the ball for the Bronx Bombers in game one. Sabathia is all too familiar in this role and has had no problem pitching big for the Yankees in big games. So far, so good.
The Twins counter with their promising left-handed youngster Francisco Liriano (14-10, 3.62). He will be making his very first postseason start. It is worth noting that the Yankees have lost their last nine match-ups against teams where the starting pitchers were left handed.
The Yankees' bats shouldn't have any problem heating up for the playoffs, but can the pitching hold up?
The Twins lineup will be without Justin Morneau due to post-concussion syndrome, and he will miss the remainder of the postseason.
Derek Jeter is the focus for the New York media this October as he is playing in a contract year. Can he turn that switch on like he always does and perform in the playoffs? His future in pinstripes likely depends on it.
Alex Rodriguez has nothing left to prove after his amazing clutch performance through the entire post season last year.
Rodriguez has the playoff monkey off his back, replacing it with a World Series ring on his finger.
However, the Yankees lineup will need him to play good baseball if they want to repeat. Batting in between Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano in the fourth spot, he will see many crucial opportunities to come through for the team.
The one good thing for the Yankees in the first round is an opponent they are no stranger to beating.
Sweeping them out of playoffs last year, and winning the season the season series 4-2, the Yankees have to feel good going into this.
However, most players do feel that the past has no bearing on the present.
We'll find out if the underdog Twins can finally defeat their arch nemesis, the Yankees.